Jamie Carragher has admitted he has changed his mind in the Mohamed Salah vs Sadio Mane debate, which continues to divide the Anfield faithful.
Having previously backed Mane as the Reds’ most important attacker, the club legend says he’s now firmly in the Salah camp after he reached a landmark 100 Premier League goals – but where does the Egyptian King stand in terms of the division’s best players since his arrival?
Mane and Salah have created one of football’s most iconic front threes alongside fellow forward Roberto Firmino, but over the past season and a half, Salah has been the only member of the trio to maintain his level.
The Reds ultimately secured Champions League football in what was a painful season last time out, with Mane and Firmino well below their normal level as Liverpool’s title defence crumbled.
One constant was Salah, though, who has now been Liverpool’s top scorer in every season since he joined the club in 2017, and now reports claim he wants to be made one of the league’s top-paid players to sign a new contract.
Carragher and Gary Neville discussed Mane and Salah during Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, with Neville pushing his colleague on who his favourite player is.
Neville began: “A couple of years ago we had a debate between Mane or Salah, and I said Salah all day long, for me, but you said Mane. Would you change that now?”
“Yeah,” Carragher replied. “What I meant by that was you have your favourite player, don’t you?
“Salah always scored more goals than Mane, he was always the goalscorer…”
“You’ve changed your mind now, haven’t you,” ribbed Neville. “You’ve changed your mind.”
Carragher conceded: “Yeah, OK, I’ve changed my mind.
“Salah deserves to be one of the highest paid players in the league because he is one of the best players in the league.
“Hopefully it gets sorted, because it think he’ still got three or four years left in him.”
Salah has been the league’s top scorer and Golden Boot winner in two of his four seasons with Liverpool, helping them win a first title in 30 years.
But where does he rank in terms of the Premier League’s best players since his 2017 signing from Roma? talkSPORT decides…
5. N’Golo Kante
Despite not winning a league title since 2017/18, Kante’s back-to-back championships with Leicester and Chelsea are enough to get him in any list.
The Frenchman has become a World Cup and Champions League winner in recent years, and while trophies haven’t followed in the league, he continues to dominate as one of the world’s premier midfielders.
And Kante isn’t just world class anymore, he’s potentially historic, and is currently in the running for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
4. Harry Kane
Second to Salah for goals since 2017/18 with 88, Harry Kane could hardly have done any more for Tottenham before trying to force a £150million move to Manchester City this summer.
Kane started out as a pure goalscorer, but has evolved into so much more, as his 14 assists last season prove.
It’s easy to see why a manager as picky as Pep Guardiola was reportedly happy to break the league transfer record to sign Kane, who would surely only post better numbers at a title challenger. Unfortunately for Pep, though, City refused to pay up and he stayed put at Spurs.
3. Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool fans will still be thanking Philippe Coutinho for his record departure that allowed the purchases of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, with the latter one of the most transformative players the league has ever seen.
The Netherlands captain was the key piece in turning Jurgen Klopp’s side into Premier League and Champions League winners, with his absence last season seeing the Reds collapse.
Back in the line up this term, Liverpool have only conceded a single goal in their opening four games, with Van Dijk again showing what a difference he can make.
2. Mohamed Salah
Salah has the most Premier League goals of any player since he joined Liverpool with 98, making his way into the 100 goal club at the weekend thanks to his two efforts during his short Chelsea career.
The Egyptian also has taken the scoring record for a 38 game season with 32 goals in his debut campaign, and is clearly one of the best players the league has ever seen.
Salah will probably need more titles and golden boots to cement that position in everyone’s eyes, but with the threat of a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona no longer a real possibility, he looks like he’s here to stay.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
With three league titles since 2017/18, it’s impossible not to have a Manchester City player top, with De Bruyne the stand-out candidate.
The Belgian assist god is absolutely unplayable at his best, providing 50 assists in the past four seasons, as well as 29 goals.
De Bruyne decides games big and small all by himself, and with a trio of titles earned in this four-year spell at the Etihad, his status is unquestionable.
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